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Digital Commerce & Customers

The project will work in three integrated tracks towards an understanding of digital commerce and the increasingly digital customers in the lifestyle industry both b2c and b2b. This project will test usec cases in the customer journey to demonstrate how new technology can support companies to more success with digital commerce.

About the project

The Covid lockdown has dramatically accelerated the use of digital technologies in the commercial activities of almost every industry. In the lifestyle and design industries, Virtual showrooms and platforms for online commerce that draws on digital technologies such as VR/AR, 3D models, chat bots, algorithms and AI are becoming essential means for presenting goods and interacting with prospective customers. These technologies provide alternative ways of carrying out activities, but even more importantly they change radically what is possible and provides opportunities for completely new ways of doing business.

In this research project we build off prior research and development projects to focus on three particularly prominent areas:

  • Digital touchpoints: The introduction of digital touchpoints in customer journeys.
  • The need to touch: How to cope with the customer’s need to touch and feel to richly experience designer goods in relation to purchase.
  • Digital B2B commerce: The B2B interactions between designers, producers, resellers, specifiers and other partners in the

In these three focus areas, we have set out to document the industry best practices and envision the emergent next practices of digital commerce in the design and lifestyle industries.

To do this, we wish to get in contact with Danish companies within the lifestyle and design industries, working with furniture, fashion or other related products and services. We offer two ways of joining us in this endeavor:

  1. Practice case company. Specifically targeting on one of the three focus areas, we will together explore your approach to handling the issue.
  2. Spin-in host company. Specifically targeting on one of the three focus areas, you will host a group of 3-5 students working under supervision to solve a concrete problem for you by developing a next practice scenario for how to use the potential of digital technologies to transform activities.

If you are interested to participate reach out today – contact details below

Read reports from the project below:

This report summarizes a study of Danish design products and consumers’ need for touch. We first discuss the need for touch, why it exists, and why it matters. We then discuss some common effective practices for managing the need for touch in online sales environments, as well as some promising new practices.

This report summarizes a study of Danish design products and consumers’ need for touch. We first discuss the need for touch, why it exists, and why it matters. We then discuss some common effective practices for managing the need for touch in online sales environments, as well as some promising new practices.

We live in fascinating times. New technologies and digital opportunities are introduced at unprecedented speed leaving almost all industries in turmoil and companies open for disruptiveness and innovation. Not least, the Covid-19 lockdown has dramatically accelerated the digital transformation of many industries to accommodate the ‘new normal’ (Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company, 2020). But while IT and technology familiarity are growing, so is the pressure on traditional business models. The introduction of virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies and the developments in portable and embodied devices offer many new alternative ways of blending real life products with virtual offerings to form hybrid experiences. This opens completely new avenues for customer interaction, services and experiences and radically reshapes not only customer touchpoints along the customer journey, but also the very nature of the journey travelled by customers (Flavián et al. 2019). As the number of touchpoints multiply, the need for understanding customer interaction and journey behavior becomes imperative (Tueanrat et. al. 2021). And digital prowess seems to hold the key to unlock such understanding. Markerters are much aware of the fact that meeting customer expectations hinges upon their digital capabilities.

This research project is carried out within the Lifestyle and Design Cluster, and Innovation Network under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. In the project, representatives from Copenhagen Business School, Aarhus University and VIA Design.

For further information:

Stefan Henningsson, Copenhagen Business School                          Heidi Svane Pedersen, Lifestyle & Design Cluster

sh.digi@cbs.dk                                                                                                                      heidi@ldcluster.com

+45 24794329                                                                                                                       +45 20747683

For further information:

Stefan Henningsson, Copenhagen Business School


+45 24794329

Project Lead: Stefan Henningsson, Copenhagen Business School


CBS: Mogens Bjerre mb.marktg@cbs.dk, Rob Gleasure rg.digi@cbs.dk

VIA Design:  Signe Mørk Madsen smm@via.dk, Rune Thorbjørn Jason Clausen rujc@via.dk

Aarhus universitet: Marianne Ping Huang mph@cc.au.dk, Alexandra Leonie ai@cc.au.dk, Kata Börönte borontekata@cc.au.dk

Digital Commerce & Customers in the design industry (January 2022)

Retail is still an important sales channel for the design industry, but digital commerce and omnichannel challenges the need for touch of design products. How can brands cope with this going forward?


How do we reproduce what makes our products special online? Reflecting on two research projects and 100 in-depth interviews in the Danish Design industry and distilling key principles for nurturing feelings of special attachment online. Showcasing examples from Kvadrat, Carl Hansen & Søn, TAKT, Lene Bjerre, Astep & Kvik as well as Ganni, Minimum & Godske.

Speaker: Rob Gleasure Rob Gleasure is an Associate Professor at the Department of Digitalization, Copenhagen Business School.

What are some of future trends for retail and omnichannel? How is the changing behavior and emerging technology radically changing customer engagement and sales, both in physical and digital channels?

Speaker: Kristoffer Okkels, Marketing Director & Trend Strategist at Impact.

Finishing the event with reflections, questions and future perspectives

This talk is relevant for brands and companies within the lifestyle industry, and will specifically touch upon sales, marketing, strategy, and customer relations.

This is the first Stage Lab talk out of our newly opened Lifestyle Lab in Copenhagen – the talk is therefore facilitated by Heidi Svane, Head of digital at Lifestyle & Design Cluster.

Webniar – Digital Commerce & Customers

Three scenarios will be explored during these webinars to understand some of the barriers working with digital commerce in the design industry.

Customer Journey & touchpoints

The customer as a moving target in the digital age. The customer journey belongs to the customer – no matter how much brands and retailers imagine they control it. This webinar focuses on the challenges faced by brands and retailers in their efforts to attract and nurture customers, who move in and out of physical and digital spaces. This raises renewed focus on issues of control, brand presence and touchpoints (physically and virtually) to meet the customers on their journeys. 

Revisit the webinar here

Digital Customers & Commerce – Need for touch in the design industry

Physical quality is key for many design products. Customers have traditionally relied on high-street shops and showcase events to personally experience these products. However, this is changing due to Covid-19 and expanding digital sales channels. This theme will focus on the factors that drive consumers’ ‘need for touch’ and the different ways that firms can present their physical design products to consumers.

Revisit the webinar here

Digital B2B commerce in the design industry

Digital B2B commerce in the design industries. How do we digital technologies enable B2B interactions between designers, producers, resellers, specifiers and other partners in the lifestyle and design industries?

Revisit the webinar here


Is the circular economy driven by companies or consumers?

Circular economy plays a role in every sector, however in the recent time we have seen how technology supports and enables new models for circularity.
Circular economy in the digital sector & circular economy with digital solutions


Circular economy in the digital sector and circular economy with digital solutions.

Dell is an American multinational computer technology company that develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services. Today Dell takes a deep dive on their circular economy strategy towards 2030, including really interesting innovations in product design, materials, take-back and business model. Secondly, looking at Dells partnerships and their Nordic business ecosystem with e.g. ATEA, as well as in global partnerships with WEF and Circular Electronics Partnership, where DELL plays a role in helping to establish: Circular Electronics Partnership (cep2030.org).

Speaker: Louise Koch
Director, Global Social Impact Sales Strategy & Customer Engagement
International Region Lead – EMEA, LATAM, APJ, China
Dell Technologies | Global Social Impact

Designing responsibility into experiences
What is the role of experience design in the transition towards circularity? Circular economy models, thus far, focus mainly on materials and resources with limited consideration of the customer experience design and its market consequences. To make this connection organisations must design experiences to give users an opportunity to be responsible throughout their involvement with a service or product. Drawing on research and examples, I will explore three ways in which responsibility can applied to experience design practice through (1) communication, (2) care and (3) optimisation.

Speaker: Dr Julia Wolny is a professor in Digital Innovation and Responsible Experience Design at EADA Business School Barcelona and Director of the Postgraduate Program in Sustainable Transformation.

Program WEB: https://www.nordiccircularsummit.com/


How can we work with customer journeys in the lifestyle industry to foster a circular consumption?
This talk is relevant for people working with communication, marketing, sales and branding within the lifestyle industry.

What are digital touchpoints in the customer journey and how do we recognize them as a lifestyle brand? Facilitated by Heidi Svane, Head of Digital at Lifestyle Design Cluster

As a brand working towards a circular business model, how do we use the customer journey to communicate with our users and customers? Each brand introduces the touchpoints from the customer journey, which they believe create the most impact for a circular consumption:

Renting a classic from Skagerak Mia Møgelgaard, Global Impact Manager at Skagerak
How to work with deadstock v. Casper Bech Olesen, International Sales Manager at Minimum

Program WEB: https://www.nordiccircularsummit.com/


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Headstart Fashion HOUSE
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Lifestyle Lab CPH
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Lifestyle & Design Cluster
Lifestyle & design cluster is supported by: